8,000 Square Miles, One Truck and a Full Tank of Hope

Kern County is the third largest county in California

Kern County in the southern portion of California is the third largest in the state, encompasses over 8,000 square miles of land area and is the fifth largest county in the United States. The total population of the county is about 917,000, with Bakersfield being the largest city at about 384,000 people1. What this means is there are thousands of underserved people in the county that need the Kern County Department of Human Services’ help.

Many of these people don’t have the means to reach the brick and mortar location in Bakersfield, CA.

Kern County DHS will help people sign up for CalFresh, a program designed to help those in need purchase groceries to feed their families and Medi-Cal, another free or low-cost program for California residents, children, pregnant women and families. Having experienced staff on the vehicle will also make it easier for residents to fill these forms out correctly to get the assistance they need quickly.

MORE THAN A TRUCK

“The staff at LDV might be interested to learn just how important our work is, and how important your work is. Your staff, in creating this vehicle, used their hands, their talent, and their creativity in building something that will benefit the poorest among us,” said Kern County Department of Human Services Administrative Coordinator, Michael Kovacevich.

Thomas A. Edison said, “Genius in one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

A lot of genius, in the form of inspiration and perspiration, went into the hands and hearts that built this vehicle. Your staff’s efforts will create a ripple effect of goodness and grace that flowed from the highest source of all and that will serve the under-served and will help feed the poor and the desperate,” Michael told us.

The Kern County Department of Human Services hopes their new vehicle will be associated with “hope” for many of their county residents.

READY TO GO, NO MATTER THE NEED

Everyone knows southern California is synonymous with earthquakes. A 7.1 quake on the Richter Scale was registered on the Fourth of July, 2019 in Ridgecrest, California. The resulting structure damage and building fires could have utilized a mobile asset such as this one.

The 2019 earthquake near Ridgecrest, CA in Kern County was a magnitude 7.1

“Had we had the Mobile Office Vehicle on July 4, 2019, it would have gone into immediate use up in Ridgecrest to coordinate emergency services to people who had no power, no water, and no place to sleep and eat in 100 degree weather in the high desert,” Michael Kovacevich said.

The finished vehicle is ready for anything. It will serve so many different uses over the next several years.

IMPRESSIVE ALL THE WAY

Michael noted that was quite the impressive feat to build the vehicle here in Burlington, Wisconsin and then deliver it to Bakersfield, California yet look showroom-ready when it arrived.

LDV Driver, Jeff shown with the new Kern County mobile office near Bakersfield, California

“Jeff (LDV Vehicle Delivery Driver) was hesitant and shy about posing in front of the vehicle, but I insisted: anyone who can drive two thousand miles from Burlington, Wisconsin to Bakersfield, California across six or seven states in the middle of Winter, just escaping a horrible snow and ice storm that shut down wide swaths of the Midwest and arriving just before a foot of rain swamped California – timing his arrival to be the first and only clear-weather day, well…he surely deserves to pose in front of the vehicle,” Michael noted.

Jeff spent hours cleaning the vehicle for Kern County prior to meeting with them for the delivery, a true testament to his dedication and pride in his job.

When Jeff pulled up to the Kern County facility, he was met with dozens of Human Services staff members who were eager to see the truck for the first time. Everyone received training on the safe operation of the vehicle and even their media team was on-hand to capture photos and video of the day’s delivery process.

The truck will be put into service real soon and we suspect every inch of those 8,000 square miles will be covered by these new wheels. We are excited to see more of their new vehicle and the great things they have planned for it.

REFERENCES
1: WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_County,_California